Courtesy of Kent Falcons
The Falcons have taken huge strides in the last few years, becoming regular play-off contenders. Only 12 months ago, they won their first ever play-off game and came within a whisker of reaching the semi-finals. With the proposed introduction of a new three-tier structure, the Falcons are clearly determined to hit the ground running, with an all-star coaching line up as well as a rebranding of the clubs logo and kit to prove it.
Shadrach Tshibola, last season’s offensive captain, is one of many star players returning next season. The London Blitz wide receiver said: “First, we asked designers to come up with a new logo that better reflected our competitive spirit and we are delighted with the result. “We then sought approval for a new kit and the planned red outfit is a perfect fit for the university’s colours.”
Newly-appointed team President Greg Chapman explained: “In the last two or three years, the Falcons have improved in leaps and bounds and we now start every season aiming to be division champions.”
“The proposed changes would hand us an even bigger challenge but we are determined to keep building on the great work of head coach Jonty Newman and the players who have done so well in recent years. Undertaking the rebranding of the team solidifies what we feel is a new era for Falcons Football”
Coach Jonty has quickly embraced the new sense of desire in his squad and has just announced his coaching team for next season.
The former Falcons, Manchester Allstars, East Kent Mavericks and Leeds Cougars player stays as head coach and defensive coordinator, but he is supported by an impressive cast that includes Russell Jordan, the former Great Britain, Falcons, Mavericks and Blitz star as offensive coordinator and QB coach.
Joshua Clarke, the former Falcon running back now starring for the London Warriors as a returner, takes up the role of special teams coordinator and running backs coach while ex-Falcon safety Robert Walton, also now with the Mavs, is the new assistant defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Mavs star Gregory Mutyambizi, another former Falcon, is assistant offensive coordinator and receiver coach while former Falcon, Mavs and Shropshire Revolution Guard Aidan Lo is the offensive line coach.
The introduction of a purely Strength and Conditioning dedicated coach in the shape of Hussein Kasim, International Powerlifting League competitor and owner of Barbell and Kilos is a first for the Falcons. Kasim commented “I’m very excited to start working with the Kent Falcons. They have an exceptional returning squad and I’m looking forward to helping them to maximise performance on the field to really make an impact on the new league.”
Chapman said: “This will be my third year and it is definitely the most exciting pre-season I have experienced. We even needed a vote to trim down the applicants to serve on the team’s committee and everyone is dedicated to achieving a record season.
Tshibola added: “We are returning skill players in almost every position, our coaching staff are stronger than ever and there is a real sense of purpose.
“Looking at the proposed new three-tier structure, it is clear we will be facing a much tougher season than ever before with some old foes still there and a couple of very good new teams in our division.
“But with all this forward planning, with a new style and a new streak of dedication running through the Falcons, we are already excited to see what September brings.
“Let’s hope we can achieve a recruiting class as big and impressive as we did in 2014 and then the sky is the limit for the Kent Falcons.”